Since we now have an activation reports section in the reflector, I’m seeing more and more (very informative) reports here - would it be possible for the report authors to add a URL reference to point to the report on the reflector to the Summits info page (under external links) please?
I put my activation reports on my own blog site and then add a link to the article for each summit that I activate in the SOTAWatch2 summit information page as I find this kind of information very helpful when planning a possible activation.
I’m a frequent user of the summit info page. I place a link for a post that I consider will add value for activators such as distance, time, terrain and map details. I provide an Expeditions page on my blog that points to my summit activity via internal posts.
Hi Andrew, I know it is a good habit in VK to post info for others to the SOTA Summits page. Unfortunately this does not seem to be the same from all associations. As some people are now posting reports to this reflector, I think adding a link to that report from the Summit’s info page would not take a lot of effort and would be valuable for others considering an activation of the summit.
This is not strictly necessary. Anyone who writes about an activation on their blog and includes a summit reference will be found by Google. It might be nice to have some links here, but using a search engine will find all the pages that didn’t get a link.
While a link is a good idea, personal websites and blogs tend to have a limited lifetime and thus SOTAWATCH ends up with a lot of dead links. If there is something really important to impart it would be a good idea to put that detail directly on SOTAWATCH in addition to a link.
But hey we are kidding ourselves. No one will remember this by next week.
It is amusing to find that while every English summit has at least one link on the summit page, the only links for the Scottish summits have been provided by visiting English activators! There is a direct equivalent in the rock climbing guidebooks in my library - the English and Welsh guides are very informative, only a dummy would fail to find a route and work out where it goes, but the Scottish guides are terse to the point of being incomprehensible at times! An interesting national character difference, the Scots expect you to be more self-reliant on their mountains, and that isn’t entirely a bad thing.
As I see it, an activation report will give you a route, but that route is not necessarily the best one, its up to you to decide whether to follow it or find a better one.
All information is gratefully received by me, but perhaps the most helpful is in the form of a sentence or two under Resources on the summit page. Where to park; whether permission is necessary; anything potentially challenging eg a swollen stream to cross, feral wolves etc. From that I can decide whether to make the road journey and have a go at it, or size it up next time I’m in the area.
Having said that, I do find reports and photographs interesting, and love reading them.
Ahem, yes. Smacked hand for me not extracting details from my reports to add to the summit pages. I must have a huge backlog, as if I recall correctly, Tom was urging me to do this back in 2007. Maybe I should work my way backwards, that way the GM summits will get done soonest.
As for why Scottish activators don’t publish details on the summits pages, you should realise Brian that they really want to keep the Scottish summits to themselves. Unfortunately a good number of us keep invading from the south!
Nothing wrong with that, If you can’t read a map and navigate then you shouldn’t be on a lot of these hills anyway.
Jist keep yer paws aff oor Virgins,
Hmm! Well I have put in a few reports or links for some of the Scottish summits in the past but haven’t for a while I must admit.
Most of the GM summits I have done over the years even the Scots don’t want to or can’t be bothered doing them as they are either so far out of the way or too difficult to plan. None of these park the car and walk 20 minutes up a gentle slope to earn your points. Most of our hills are hard to get to, long treks covering many kilometres over difficult terrain without any paths or tracks that that would break a lot of people. Hidden fissures to snap a leg, peat bogs to swallow you up, big cats - yes really, big cats! flesh devouring beasties and all this for 1 point! Plus there is the time involved in planning routes up some of these far distant hills, hours of planning in some cases and even then it is still never 100% accurate but gets me close enough.
Yes I do think I should put on details for more of our hills but don’t really have a lot of time spare hence one of the reasons my blog is way behind. I will however and do provide detailed information for routes I have done to anyone that asks, as Gerald G4OIG and Paul G4MD know to their cost.
I’m not only the GM activator to not put on info for summits - we are all bad for it - or is that good at it.
Now that we have a new reflector with better capabilities I might in the future place info for some of the GM summits but to be honest finding routes for most of the common hills can be found elsewhere on the web.
Off my soap box now, sorry but just felt like I was indirectly being pointed at (I know I wasn’t) because I have done some of the less common GM/SS summits and haven’t documented anything about them.
And isn’t that the truth! Having done a fair bit of Munro-bashing in my time, I can confirm that the Scottish summits present challenges that the Welsh or Lakeland hills just don’t prepare you for, even the tiddlers can be brutes! That said, whilst I have seen hundreds if not thousands of what my eldest son (a toddler at the time) described as “cows with trees on their heads”, and have provided meals for innumerable midges, I have never had the luck to see those “big cats”! You bring out a good point, though, Neil. If I was advising somebody about to make their first SOTA foray into Scotland, I would say forget the 1 and 2-point tiddlers, they tend to be harder than you imagine, head for a major area like Glencoe and do the big ones, they have good guidebooks, good parking, good paths and plenty of people around in case you need assistance - and you get more points!
Most of the big stuff has a trench you follow to the top. It can be nice to do that but after a while it is so much more rewarding to wild-walk to the summit. The lesser summits in less populated areas can be a fine challenge as those who have wild-walked in Galloway will agree. Get up the really wild stuff in NS-land and boy are you on your own
Of course you can always use this modern thing called Google. It’s really amazing, type in a request for some information and by magic it returns thousands and thousands of web pages that are porbably relevant. Type a summit name and amazingly you get info about the summit both from walkers and SOTA activators too.
Who’d have thought such technology existed And it means that if you write up something on here (or in a personal blog) it can still be found whether it gets entered into links here or not!
Aye well laddie,looks like we’re off the hook as long as Mr Google comes up trumps.
On a serious note, reading the info on the excellent Scottish Hills website (amongst others), you get to know which report authors provide reliable and useful information. It always needs to be borne in mind that walking the hills may be totally within a person’s capabilities,but he or she may not be able to convey the reality in words. Use any source with caution.
… and I wish I had a five pound note for every time either Paul or myself has uttered those immoral words “it doesn’t look like that on Google Earth!”
It isn’t just Google Earth. The first time I went to Glencoe (wow, over fifty years ago!) I was armed with Pouchers pocket guide to the Scottish mountains, it was full of sooty B&W photos with white lines drawn on them to show the routes. Actually confronted with the real thing and comparing it with the lines on Pouchers photos my reaction was often “He must be kidding!” He wasn’t, the routes went, but they were impressive!
It doesn’t help when you read an activator’s comments that it only took 35mins to climb Cairn Hill SS-194. It took me 45mins and I was budgerigar-ed when I got to the top having gone quite fast. I was gutted that I found it so hard and others didn’t. Only when I got back and put the route in to Anquet and it said 1hr3min was I happy!
See you can’t even rely on SOTA reports to be accurate!
You had me worried there for a minute Andy, then I thought “35 minutes - Nah, not me!” Anyway I just had to load up the completed itinerary for the hill and I was relieved to find that Paul and I took 1 hour and 3 minutes. Pure coincidence of course. It was wet, we took our time, we stopped to put the waterproof covers on our backpacks and I’m slow on ascents (ask Neil). I had actually allowed 1 hour 20 minutes…
Next time use my ascent times and you’ll be really chuffed with what you achieve. Satisfaction guaranteed!
Had me worried too, but I seem not to have given any times on my report. I haven’t checked out GPS track but my guess is that we were at least an hour,
We tend to be pretty slow on both ascent and descent, which some of those activators (Robin GM7PKT in particular) who we chase on an ascent know to their cost - they end up waiting a long time on their summit for us to get to our summit for an S2S. I tend to take other people’s times as a very rough guide: there are some activators whose times I’d double! I’m interested in what the report says about walking conditions (bogs, tussocky grass and the like make for slow progress) and summit conditions (space for antennas, shelter etc).
Some confusion here I think… Andy was possibly looking at my April 2014 report for Cairn Hill from my blog which is linked from the summits page for SS-194. The timing is right and the track is in the SMP. Sorry about that guys,35 mins up and 27 mins down…not bragging you understand but needed to clarify.
Combined age of the two operators - 128 years and I was carrying an FT-817 so travelling light that day…
I always put a link on the summits page, but tend to fall behind with the blog. The SMP GPX tracks always get uploaded as soon as I get back. Usually catch up on the blog during the winter time.